. . . as always, alas, the road's paved with strict regimens and bilious concoctions (lecithin, cider Vinegar, kelp) -- that's the wrinkle. Still, as a fashion expert for the New York Times, Crenshaw's muscled her way to Beautiful People specialists such as Erno Laszlo, Dr. Atkins, Nicholas at Sassoon, as well as dogged everybody else from Stillman to Solomon (whose The Truth About Weight Control is still one of the best), and with a reporter's skepticism she cuts the fad from the lean. As the ugly people's guinea pig, there's not much she hasn't experimented with (Dr. Atkins' low carbohydrate diet worked wonders for three years until Crenshaw's metabolism made its own contrary compensations); she suggests products worth trying (Redken's amino pon bar, for one); and she reminds us of foods calorie counters should avoid (beef, with 100 per forkful). All of which makes Crenshaw hugely worth checking out -- despite the purple Ph factor of her prose.